Checks to establish the risks they posed to communities, families and their children were inadequate in a third of cases and a third of offenders had no home visits by probation officers even though there should have been, potentially putting children at risk.
Dame Glenys Stacey, chief inspector of probation, said the system was not working “anywhere near well enough from start to finish.”
“It’s not acceptable to put a convicted sex offender in a budget hotel or other accommodation which will be shared by the general public,” she added.
“These are convicted sexual offenders that are in accommodation where other people – families, women, children – are sleeping or staying and they are not being supervised.
“It’s a desperately uncomfortable mix. On the first night of this individual’s freedom when they are most at risk of reverting to their former behaviour, they are in accommodation where opportunities are present as opposed to approved premises where they would be under curfew and locked in.”
Her report warned there were insufficient places in secure approved hostels as numbers on the sex offenders’ register had risen by 60% since 2010 to 58,637. Some 13,580 prisoners are currently serving jail terms for sexual offences, nearly a fifth of the jail population.
The report cited the case of Jack, jailed for four years for a serious sexual offence and who had significant disabilities yet was released unsupervised into a budget hotel.
Two weeks after his release and with Jack saying he was “hungry and without any money,” there was still no appropriate accommodation so he had to be moved to another budget hotel.
Previous research by inspectors has found 10% of prisoners are homeless on release although in this sample it was slightly lower. “We found it hard to see how such accommodation could be defensible in terms of protecting the public,” said the inspectors.
It was not just after but also in prison that there was a failure to protect the public with inspectors citing the case of a prisoner who used another inmate’s phone account to contact his victim.